This is the second review I have done for this pattern; in the first I had converted it to a princess line sheath. This dress was done for bodice fitting and dress construction classes. I did the fitting and most of the construction back in 2009 but a cross country move delayed the finishing. I finally finished it last fall.
This dress was made pretty much by the pattern with the appropriate fitting--it was my wearable muslin. I did use my skirt sloper rather than their pattern for the skirt. I would like a belt of some sort but cannot decide on what and how so I have just worn it as is, often with a sweater.
The pattern is flattering and comfortable to wear and I will be making it again with a variety of design changes in sleeves, neckline, even skirt. It is a TNT for me.
I highly recommend the pattern for its fitting helps and its flattering design. The picture doesn't do it justice as I had just stepped out from behind the wheel and a seatbelt but thought I had better get the photo rather than forget it again.
Pattern Description: Women's dress pattern with multiple sizing options
Pattern Sizing:I started with a Misses 14 and ended up somewhere between that and a 12.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?No because of my alterations.
Were the instructions easy to follow?Yes but I didn't use them much due to having altered the style of the dress and I was doing this along with Shannon Gifford's dress muslin and construction classes. That being said, I liked the bust sizing that made fitting much easier.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I had trouble getting the princess line to ease in but that was due to my cheap fabric; next time--wool or linen. This is the part of the pattern that might frustrate a beginner as well. My frustrations were solved by taking Sarah Veblen's FBA/SBA class. I wish I had had that information before taking any bodice, jacket or dress classes but it wasn't offered back then.
Fabric Used:a nondescript poly fabric from Walmart's $1.00/yd table--this was my muslin for a yet-to-be-constructed wool crepe dress. Even at that this LBD has become a TNT in my wardrobe.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I altered this from a waisted dress to a sheath. I was using a muslin of this pattern which had already been altered for a curved back and shortened back neck/waistline and my skirt muslin. I also raised the neckline and brought the shoulder armhole in by3/8-5/8". I lined the dress according to Shannon's instructions.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes, definitely--this will become a TNT sheath pattern for me which is what I was aiming for. I will probably alter the neckline design line and add sleeves to future garments. I also have this pattern in process with the waisted version and will review that when it is complete. I'm having a bit of trouble since I want a self belt for that one and am having a hard time finding the kits anymore--haven't seen a ready-made buckle that matches or strikes my fancy. The waisted version will become a TNT as well.
Conclusion: I love the basic patterns I have been able to produce from this pattern; even a beginner with a good fitting book as a resource could be successful with this pattern.